Microsoft tried and very nearly succeeded in replacing the open web with the ActiveX "information superhighway". If they had done so we might not yet have the smartphone-with-browser, due to the difficultly in implementing competing ActiveX implementations to run on it.
Lots of people making money off the pipes? Comcast.
New mainframe computing model with web apps? That's certainly arrived.
> As an example, I predict that by the end of this year, Microsoft will announce that it has a Visual Basic variant or deviant that it proposes as the Web-client language. And Sun and Microsoft will have a war. And Microsoft will put everything it has into that war, because if it can win, it will have killed Netscape along the way. Netscape will put everything it has into that war, because if it loses, it is in trouble. So I ask you, who will win that war? Probably Microsoft.
Everybody lost. Microsoft built IE6's fortress of incompatibility that it now struggles to get rid of, like that indestructible anti-aircraft tower in Berlin. Netscape went bust and open-sourced everything. Sun folded into Oracle. Java is now the annoying thing that you have to update while avoiding the Ask toolbar in the installer, and many people have banned it too from their browser. VBScript in the browser is dead.